Parents upset after sudden closure of pre-school

Warnham Village Hall where the pre-school was based. Photo courtesy of Google Street view.
Warnham Village Hall where the pre-school was based. Photo courtesy of Google Street view.

The manager of a village pre-school has spoken of her sadness over the sudden closure of the popular facility.

Warnham Pre-school has been running at the village hall for more than 30 years but shut its doors last week.

Manager Stephanie Richardson explained financial troubles had meant there was ‘no alternative’ but to close the pre-school.

She said: “I would just like to say that I am saddened by the sudden closure of Warnham Pre-School.

“The financial side of things were brought to my attention just a week before by the committee. Unfortunately due to finances there was no alternative.

“I am happy that many of our children have found places in other settings in the area and after working for the Pre-school for 15 years I would like to wish everyone all the best for the future.”

Catherine Savery, who lives in Warnham, was told the news by staff as she picked up her daughter on Thursday, March 9.

She said: “They have closed their doors for the last time. It is a huge blow to our community.

“It is a good community business in Warnham and I just think it is a shame it has gone. We have lost something very special.”

She added parents had been left “in limbo” as many like herself could not go to work until they found alternative childcare.

Chris Gilbert has been taking his 3-year-old son Evan-Alby to the pre-school for the past year.

He said: “My son has speech and language difficulties and he has really come on since going there.

“It’s the children that are really going to miss out, the way they ran it as pre-school teachers was fabulous really.”

Both parents said the pre-school held a meeting on the Friday. Issues with funding were given as the reasons for the closure.

West Sussex County Council said it had been made aware the pre-school was having financial issues but had not been advised of its closure.

A spokesman said: “We had been considering ways to support the pre-school and will be making contact to see if there is still an opportunity to assist.

“We will support parents to find alternative provision for their child.”

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